- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 16, 2006

BALTIMORE — Maryland lacrosse coach Dave Cottle gave his old goalie some advice last week about facing Georgetown.

Charley Toomey, now Loyola’s coach, and the Greyhounds took advantage of every word.

No. 20 Loyola combined efficient faceoff play, crisp passing and pinpoint shooting to stun the No. 2 Hoyas 14-10 before 2,211 at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field in a game that could signal the awakening of a one-time lacrosse power.

Michael Fretwell made 13 saves, and Greg Leonard and Ryan Rabidou both scored three goals for Loyola (5-4, 4-1), whose players streamed onto the field after earning a share of the ECAC lead.

“I think it’s the biggest win we’ve had in five years,” Fretwell said. “It’s unbelievable.”

It was the first loss for Georgetown (7-2, 3-1) since a season-opening drubbing against Maryland. The Hoyas had rolled past the likes of Syracuse, Delaware and Navy since that defeat, compiling an impressive resume for next month’s NCAA tournament.

“Maybe we were riding a little too high on ourselves,” senior midfielder Pete Cannon said. “That can happen when you win [seven] straight. It’s kind of a wakeup call.”

Perhaps no one in the sport knows the formula for beating Georgetown better than Cottle, who is 16-0 in his career against the Hoyas. The Terrapins shredded the Hoyas 10-4 in February, working the ball inside for tight shots at the cage.

The Greyhounds’ approach was similar, although they first had to overcome a deficit. Georgetown twice built a two-goal lead, but Loyola eventually went ahead for the first time when Rabidou scored a man-up goal. Less than a minute later, Rabidou bounced it in from eight yards away.

“He said, ‘Charley, you’ll get about 15 shots from about 12 yards and in. The teams that can score eight or nine of those that are going to win. If you only score two of them, you are going to lose,’” Toomey said of Cottle’s advice. “I thought our guys ran by them, and we got 10 or 15 in the right spot and we canned them.”

Loyola added its own twist to the blueprint to deconstruct Georgetown, dominating possession and preventing the aggressive Hoyas from creating much in transition. Whenever Georgetown did get possession in the second half, it usually rushed into an undesirable shots rather than working its offense.

That added to the strain on the defense, which eventually resorted to chasing down the Greyhounds and picking up a few penalties in the process.

“It’s frustration going after those guys and trying to take the ball away while they’re throwing it around the outside for hours,” Georgetown defenseman Reyn Garnett said. “It’s a pain just chasing them all over the field. You get tired and frustrated and start swinging your stick.”

Georgetown goalie Miles Kass returned from a sprained knee that forced him out of the Hoyas’ last two games and made nine saves. However, coach Dave Urick yanked the sophomore in favor of senior Rich D’Andrea after Loyola took an 11-8 lead late in the third quarter.

D’Andrea made two saves while allowing three goals in the final 16:45.

“Probably should have done it a little earlier,” Urick said. “I thought Miles was getting tired more than anything else. His leg was probably getting tired. I don’t think he reinjured it, it’s just a little stiff and sore.”

Cottle built Loyola into an offensive juggernaut and NCAA tournament regular in the 1980s and 1990s, but he left for Maryland in September 2001. The Greyhounds waned in the last four seasons under coach Bill Dirrigl, who failed to reach the NCAA tournament and was fired in December.

Toomey, a longtime Loyola assistant, has quickly molded the Greyhounds into a team built on smart play and savvy goaltending. With a few more victories — Loyola must still face Fairfield, Hobart and Johns Hopkins — the Greyhounds could end their postseason drought next month.

“They were a young team for the longest time,” Urick said. “Well, those young guys have grown up and have matured. They still don’t have many seniors, but they have a lot of juniors that have been playing lacrosse since they were freshmen here. That bodes well for them.”

Added Toomey: “Our kids earned something today. They flat-out earned it.”

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